Thursday, 1 March 2018

East Of Jacksboro Continued

Continuing from the previous post, Brad has entered the bedroom as he's going through the house looking the access to the attic - intending 'taking the high ground' if he can find and open it.
(I decided to use the "Risks and Rewards" deck again, since he had no idea just what (or who) might be behind the closed door)
His search was interrupted as he came face-to face with one of the original occupants of the house who'd obviously been bitten.
Narrowly avoiding being surprised by the zombie, Brad yelled a warning as he stepped forward and felled the creature with his machette.
The blow had only knocked the zombie to the floor, but Travis entered to help deliver the killing blow, just as Zac opened fire on the group of zeds attempting to break through the barricaded rear door. (The white dice show the zombies attempts to reduce the Defence Value of the barricades, the glass rear door is weaker than the solid front entrance, so Zac and Nate decided to try and keep down the numbers able to attempt breaking through - unfortunately Nate went Out Of Ammo, Zac failed to hit, and the shot attracted another zombie!)

The door to the bathroom was open, and Brad could see the shapes of the zombies crowded outside the front door through the frosted glass. Zac and Nate were keeping up a steady rate of fire and slowing down the zeds in their attempts to break into the house, but Hannah and Amy had no line of sight to do the same at the front, so he and Travis started taking aimed shots through the glass.
Fortunately, the sustained fire over several minutes only attracted one more of the walking dead.

Brad and Travis were increasing the bodycount on the front porch and stopping the zeds breaking through,  but at the back of the house, with a sickening crash the rear door and its barricade gave way!

Zac, Nate and the girls managed to get to the bedroom before the zombies shuffled through the shattered door, and Hannah went straight through to the bathroom to alert Brad and her brother,

just as a patrol responded to the gunfire. (It's 'Day 15' so they arrived 1/D6 + 1D6 turns after the first shot - 4 turns later). One of the officers checked out the pickup as the pair assessed the situation,
before opening fire on the undead crowding the front porch of the "Twain property" - knocking down three of them and attracting the attention of the fourth, which shambled hungrily towards them.

The two cops hadn't noticed Brad's group members behind the bunched crowd of zombies, and  before he could shout out, he saw the pistol and shotgun snatched up into the aim - he instinctively turned, grabbed Hannah and Travis and bundled them out through the bathroom door, kicking it closed behind him as the shots rang out!

Quickly reassessing the situation, Brad released his grip on Hannah and Travis, sending them to keep a lookout through the bedroom windows and made sure everyone else was OK.

Outside, the shotgun at point blank range over the hedge caused the hungry zombie to 'lose its head', but the knocked down group rose to their feet and were joined by another zed attracted by the gunfire to keep the cops busy,
while inside, the zeds were threatening to break through the bedroom door at any moment,
and Brad had the guys drag the bed over to create an obstacle which would hopefully give his hastily organised 'firing line' a killing zone when they did come through the doorway!

To be continued.................................

Right on target for the end of February, I'm delighted to be adding adding another cavalry unit to the ECW project in the shape of Haselrig's "Lobsters".
The iconic cuirassiers were a cinch to knock out in a hurry thanks to their (rather antiquated for the period) plate mail armour!

Thanks for visiting, and as ever, your comments and queries are more than welcome


  1. A desperate struggle! Once the zombies are in the house and you're defending room-by-room, it seems almost inevitable that the survivors will lose :-( .

    1. Thanks Hugh, the game's been quite static (centred on the house) but frantic - this AAR comes at the end of turn 14!
      As a "gamer" with a Gods eye view of whats going on, I'd probably opened/broken a side window and made a run for it by turn 8, from the "characters" viewpoint though it seemed the best idea to defend the house - despite the French Window being a weak point ;-)

  2. It most certainly is a desperate struggle. I wasn't expecting the police to turn up. Their arrival could make all the difference to the survivors' survival chances. A combined attack could just see off the remaining zombies. Here's hoping! This very much reminds me of Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" film, which is high praise, Greg!

    1. Many thanks indeed Bryan, much appreciated :-)
      I was dubious about the police, but the rules still have them turn up until day 20. The house stands in an area where the "up market" out-of-town properties are, so I guess a patrol was detailed to watch out for looters.

  3. Another BatRep/painting update combo, Wargame Addict, which was an absolute pleasure to read. That's some "ECW" force you've painted :-)

    1. Cheers Simon - and since we've had tonight's gig down in Stevenage cancelled because of the weather, I'm hoping to get some more of the encounter played! :-)

  4. Hi Greg - You look to be in a bit of a jam but I don't know that it's looking too bad, there are plenty of you and now the police have turned up! You might get out of this alive.
    What about throwing that new girl out to the zombies and do a runner while they are munching on her bones!!! OK maybe not.
    There can't me much to loot in the house though - the fridge is empty. :-)

    Hammerhead is looking a bit of a stretch, I'm about 5 miles from Buxton in the Peak District we had 4 or 5" of snow yesterday, more overnight and it's still coming down.
    How close to Newark are you and does it look ok there or not very feasible.

    What sort of size are you going for with the civil war forces, and what about an overall shot to show the progress, there must be quite a few more.
    They were the first metal troops I ever bought, the first regiment of foot were from northern Militaire which shows how old they are. I still have them, block colours and high gloss varnish, minifigs, original and remastered ones. Never fired a shot in anger.

    With your gig being cancelled and the snow it must mean you can push on with the next part of this tale, I'm looking forward to reading it.

    1. Hiya John, I thought Brad's idea of retreating into the loft, then just pulling up the ladder and shooting the zeds like fish in a barrel would have worked - the dice decided that the access hatch is in the garage though, and there's no interior door to get there!

      We're 30 miles west of the showground, and getting about the same as you by the sound of it. The main roads are being kept clear (unlike our street!), and the last forecast I saw was for a 'slight rise in temperature' for the weekend. I reckon it's just going to be a case of seeing what it's like on the day :-(

      The ECW forces are initially for the (Free) "Victory Without Quarter" mass battle rules, which recommend around 7 'maneuver units' (ie not including C-in-C / Brigadier bases) for a good game, so I've raised a couple of Regiments of Foot, 2-3 Horse, 1 Dragoon, and 1-2 Artillery to get started.
      I've organised them so that I can also use parts of the armies for "The Pikemans Lament" large skirmish rules - or the (Free) "Lion Passant" ECW variant for "Lion Rampant" ;-)
      Small scale skirmishes will use minis from the WfG troops.
      I'm hoping to get an overall shot as soon as the current ATZ game is off the table :-)

      I loved my old Minifigs Parliamentarians, which used to have a hard time of it up against my regular opponent who fielded the rather splendid looking Hinchliffe Royalist opposition back in the 70's - "Happy Days" ! :-)

    2. Hi Greg - I just checked the Hammerhead web site and it's been rescheduled to 28th April. Good job really, it's still snowing here. :-)
      I'll see if I can find the victory without quarter rules. I always liked the idea of a campaign set in the period, all very local and almost feudal, but I never understood how pike and shot units would work in real life.

    3. Thanks for the show info John, and yes, it's probably for the best and even though we've got a gig on that date, it's local so I can still go :-)
      Still snowing here too and I had to 'break out' and get to the shops and it's not nice out there!

      I've tried LOTS of different rules for ECW, but I really like the Victory Without Quarter set. They're very 'light', card driven and have a random event feature - perfect for solo adaptation AND they give a nice period "feel" :-)

      I'd also recommend having a look at stuff from "The Perfect Captain" - especially the "Battle Finder" system and the "Tinker Fox" campaign.

    4. I've already got a lot of the Perfect Captain stuff from a Blog link some while ago, I'll have a look and see if I can find the blog because you might be interested in it, the guy did a lot on the civil war and it was pretty good stuff. Have you used the Perfect Captain rules?
      I got the impression for ECW you were playing a live opponent not solo?
      I did consider using card templates to represent units like some rules that I can't find and never used, but it would be a quick and cheap method of creating an army to used in a confined space - like my room.

    5. Was it the "Prometheus In Aspic" blog?
      I've not used the Perfect Captian "Civille Action" ECW rules, but I'm using parts of the Battle Finder and Tinker Fox campaign rules, and yes, solo. The only games I get to play 'in company' are the fantasy battles and occasional D&D adventures which also form part of the same campaign - the anti social hours imposed by being an entertainer rule out the option of joining any of the local clubs :-(

      I've got the old Avalon Hill "Napoleons Battles" which comes with card counters - I got it so that I could scratch the Napoleonic itch without painting mini's, but deep down I know I'll end up replacing the counters because I think we enjoy the spectacle our toy soldiers present ;-)

      Oh, and I know all about confined spaces :-)
      My "allocated gaming space" allows a 4ft square board in relative comfort, a 6ft x 4ft table is at the moment out of the question (but I'm working on it!)

    6. Yep that's the blog, I found the rules, good grief, I hope you've not set me off down the ECW big battles route, there'll be trouble if you have. :-)

    7. My bad - I meant to supply all the links, got distracted, and promptly forgot :-(

      If you've got the figures already, I reckon it would be a great shame if you didn't at least give 'em a run out :-)

  5. For some reason I keep forgetting about the police in my campaign. My excuse being that there is a very tiny contingent of police officers in Thanet and they were decimated in the first day! Great episode Greg, lovely board as always!

    1. It's one of two ATZ rules I sometimes struggle to justify Andy, and continue to tinker with ;-)
      Why do they ALWAYS respond to gunshots when in a zombie apocalypse I imagine there'd be a whole load of people exercising their 'right to bear arms' and defend themselves??
      Also, playing solo, I'd KNOW exactly when they'll arrive - so on that turn I roll a dice and they arrive on a six, a five or six the turn after, four five or six the next turn on so on until six turns later they'll have arrived (IF the encounter is still running). At least that throws in a random element to it.

      The other one I could do with help with is PEF movement. Why on earth would a PEF 'MOVE AWAY' from a group? Especially if it later resolves as zombies??

      Thanks for the compliment on the board mate, I'm aware I really need some more furnishings and general clutter, but glad to say they're 'work in progress' :-)

  6. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Such a fantastic narrative here, it's almost like reading a comic :) Can't wait to see what happens next...

    1. Many thanks Ivor - praise indeed, but honestly, the ATZ:FFO rules system really does all the work :-)

  7. Great stuff Greg. I really like the pace of your writing. It's like watching a movie.

    And that fridge opening. That's next level.

    And as for "unfortunately Nate went Out of Ammo, Zac failed to hit, and the shot attracted another zombie". Jeez. I guess it's hard to find good help in the apocalypse. I'm enjoying how the game and your writing throws out little gems like that.

    Glad that you liked the little cheat sheets. Thanks for letting me know.

    1. Thank you very much Tim, glad you're enjoying it and I appreciate your comments - I find reading the AAR's of other bloggers is inspirational, but can also be a little daunting to follow!
      Positive feedback is always a confidence booster :-)

  8. Another great instalment Greg, so as the days progress does the likely hood of police turning up lesson ? Being the front line of a response wouldn't a lot of officers fall on day one ! the same would probably be true for all services, which is when the army move in ( or secret government organisation) and depending on training and the number of infected they would dwindle quickly.
    Another great looking unit of cavalry, your certainly being very productive

    1. Many thanks Dave, I wanted two 'playable armies' by the end of February, so I followed Stalin's advice - "Quantity has a quality all of it's own" ;-)
      They're a bit basic (and scruffy), but they'll get me playing, and I can take my time with further additions :-)

      I take your point about the response services, and that's how the script runs in several zed apoc books and films. In ATZ their response time slows after Day 10, and stops after Day 20, but of course Ed encourages you to tweak the rules however you see fit :-)

    2. Always interesting to see how different rule systems approach certain narratives, so thank you for the information Greg

  9. This is quite a tense affair that could go either way imo.
    I do fear for the party ifthe cops don't intervene.
    Like many things in ATZ the PEF rules have changed dramatically since their first incarnation! - it never made sense to meeither that a PEF would move away.

    Interesting to see yet another ECWS unit - you;re really turning these out quick. I had huge ECWS 'Minifig' armies in the 1970s, but found the games/battles rather formulaic in nature.

    1. Cheers Joe, I'm looking forward to playing some more turns of the encounter today so 'stay tuned' :-)

      Being a late comer to the game I don't have any of the earlier ATZ rules, so I'd be interested to find out how PEF movement was handled previously.
      I've changed the current "advance, retire, halt" results to "advance, advance 1/2 speed, halt" and will play a few encounters to see how the small tweak feels.

      Nice to hear that you too were an ECW gamer back in the day :-) Which rules did you use back then?
      There was quite a variety available, but most just didn't 'feel right' and I found that the simpler they were the more fun we had ;-)

    2. In the earliest version of PEFs that I can recall, they moved by section (the nine original ones)
      as follows :
      Pass 2d6 The PEF will move one section towards
      the largest group of players ending its
      move in cover, and in sight, if available.
      Pass 1d6 The PEF will move one section towards
      the closest PEF ending its move in
      cover, and in sight, if available.
      If no other PEFs are on the table or if
      already in the same section as another
      PEF it will move one section towards
      the closest group of players ending its
      move in cover, and in sight, if available.
      Pass 0d6 The PEF doesn’t move from its section.
      In Chain Reaction 3.1 pEfs moved as follows:
      Pass 2d6 PEF moves 8" towards player, ending in cover if possible
      Pass 1d6 PEF Moves 4" towards player, ending in cover if possible
      Pass )d6 PEF does not move
      In FFO :
      Pass 2d6 Move 1" as above
      Pass 1d6 Move 12" away (!)
      Pass 0f6 Stay put

      In addition PEFs' REPs were random in the original rules, but were a fixed value in FFO iirc!

      On to the ECWS
      I used my own version from a modified set of old (very old) London Section Wargames ACW rules (I know, I was young and knew no better) . They were really far to complicated (not difficult) but that tended to be the norm in wargames rulesa t the time.
      I thinkif I was doing ECWnow,I'd use a version of "The Sword and the Flame", they;ve been the most fun rules I've ever usedand probably the only ones I've never "tinkered" with!

      Sorry for the long reply

    3. Thanks muchly for the info Joe, much appreciated so no worries about the "long reply" - in fact quite the opposite, thanks for taking the time to do it :-)
      Quite by chance then I've ended up with the same PEF move results as Chain Reaction 3.1 which is kinda reassuring!
      PEF's Rep is still random in FFO - roll 2D6 and take the highest score as the Rep.

      We tried a bunch of complicated rules, but had most joy with "The Airfix Guide To The English Civil War" (one of a series of wargame books containing simple rules), until I picked up a soft cover, spiral bound rules booklet with a blue cover - I can picture it vividly but can't for the life of me remember the title!! :-(

      I'm aware of "The Sword and the Flame", but never looked at them so unfortunately can't comment (but obviously you've piqued my interest!)

    4. PEF REP may have been updated in or after FFO first Edition; PEF REp was set at '4', which I adapted.
      I remember the rules you referred to, there were about eight in the entire set iirc

    5. Ah-ha - I forgot there'd been various editions and amendments. I'm using the 2012 edition with the 2016 amendment sheets.
      I'm not sure how many there were, but the Airfix Guides certainly covered a good range of periods :-)

  10. Sheesh! It's a scary place this zombie apocalypse. There's danger in every direction